Saturday, June 23, 2007

KDrama Review - Full House

"All I remember is cleaning and fighting." - Han Ji Eun in Full House.

Yeah, me too. Cleaning and fighting and eating and cleaning and fighting and eating. 16 episodes of cleaning and fighting and eating.

So, I kicked off my summer fun by watching what was supposed to be a delightful romance, a comedic romp starring Rain/Bi (Jung Ji Hoon) as Lee Young Jae and Song Hye Kyo as Han Ji Eun. Without boring you, because I bored myself, circumstances arrange themselves so that YJ and JE enter into a contract marriage and live in the same house. YJ, however, is desperately in love with another woman, other woman is madly in love with Min Hyuck, Min Hyuck is a rich entrepreneurial playboy who falls in love with JE. JE just wants her house back (don't ask).

If someone doesn't have cancer, anorexia or amnesia, there is a quadrangle of love and heartbreak is right around the kdrama korner. In Full House, we gotcher quadrangle.

Let me be frank. YJ (our protagonist mind you) is emotionally and verbally abusive. We are allowed to see his more vulnerable side, I suppose to take the edge off. JE just absorbs it all in (SO not good for the sisterhood) and falls in love with the creep. Eh, you see it every day. There were moments when I was rooting for Min Hyuck - he really loved JE, treated her like a queen, appreciated all her qualities, brought out better qualities in her.

I couldn't have given a rat's @ss about other girl.

But MH was not our protagonist and therefore, doesn't get the girl. He has to settle for "good friend" status after our two dysfunctional lovers have their magical revelation in a backyard tent admitting their deep love for the other.

You may be surprised to learn that I did not hate this serial. For all its dysfunction, it was sweet. YJ sees the error of his ways, realizes the profundity of his feelings for JE and works on making it up to her. JE, never having NOT loved YJ makes him work a little harder to earn her love and it all ends up happy. Bi was young and very cute. Several lovely beefy shots of him too. Nice.

For any of you who don't know, aside from being Stephen Colbert's archnemesis , see:
Colbert is brilliant - 2 minutes in; you have to see him in his own Korean video. Fabulous.) Bi is Korea's Justin Timberlake. Well, except Bi acts, sings, and dances; he's got it all. :)

The show was just too darn long. They really could have taken out 10 scenes of cleaning, fighting, eating (I got it after 3). Deletion of some of the achy separate bedroom scenes, and achy looking out at the ocean scenes would have cleaned it up nicely. These edits could have focused the show, ratcheted up the angst and given us a happy ending in 11 episodes or less.

Kim Sung Soo who played Min Hyuck does broody man pain very nicely. He has a strong face and a definite charisma. I would have loved it if this show was about the playboy falling in love with the girl. I love it when players are felled by love. Ah well, maybe next time.

Compared to My Name Is Kim Sam Soon? Doesn't hit the mark. I won't watch this series again, where I could easily watch KSS over and enjoy it. I do want to see more of Rain/Bi and Kim Sung Soo.

"Stairway to Heaven". I've learned that StH is quite the beloved drama. All told, again, I thought the chemistry between Kwon Sang Woo and Choi Ji Woo was the best thing about the series. The brooding looks, the blazing sexual tension in the middle of the series had my heart pounding. For the longest time, I just wanted them to be happy, but knew it wasn't going to happen. It started to drag toward the end. After a while, I just wanted her to die already. That's mean, I know it. Their final parting was beautiful and moving, don't get me wrong, it just went a little long for me, that's all.

Next Up? Winter Sonata.


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